WordPress Blogging Software

October 1, 2009
Recently I wrote an entry about changing blog software for the various blogs that I use. I had long been a Movable Type user but decided to change my blogs to use WordPress. In the article I listed several reasons why I made that decision and offered to provide details on how the transition went. Well that was nearly three months ago and I realized that I never went back to the subject. Since I am sure everyone has been on the edge of their seats waiting to hear how it ended I figured I owed it to you to revisit that decision and give you some details on how it went.

I have to admit I was more than a little nervous migrating my blogs. Some of these blogs I have been writing on for over a decade so I had a lot of entries and I wasn’t exactly sure how successful I would be moving the data from one system to the other.

From the Movable Type administration screen I exported all of the entries and saved the file to my desktop. I then backed up the blog domain and with a deep breath I deleted the Movable Entry files and databases from the domain. I felt about as alone as a boy scout stationed in Antarctica. Ok I have no idea what that means but I can tell you I was feeling pretty vulnerable at that moment.

The installation of WordPress was very straightforward and fairly easy. At the conclusion of the installation procedure I was left with a pristine yet somewhat empty WordPress blog. On the surface it was very pretty but my stomach was filled with butterflies as I began the process of trying to migrate the data from Movable Type.

Given the large market share that Movable Type has had in the blogging community it was no surprise that WordPress came with a migration tool specifically for transferring data from Movable Type into WordPress.

I followed the instructions of the migration tool pointing it to my exported Movable Type file and after what seemed like an eternity (it was really just a minute or so but when it is all of your data it just feels like an eternity) the system came back notifying me that the migration was successful.

I went to the entry list of the administration tool and sure enough it looked as though all of my data had been properly migrated. I launched the site and the entries showed just as they did in Movable Type. I flipped through several entries and tried the online search and everything seemed to be working normally.

The migration tool in WordPress worked perfectly. I was not completely on WordPress for my blogs. Although the migration was successful, it was not without its flaws. The archive data structure of Movable Type is very different than that of WordPress. As a result, any link in a post that was migrated no longer pointed to the permalink properly. I was able to adjust the directory structure under WordPress but it still did not match exactly to what I had under Movable Type. I was left with the task of going into each entry and manually adjust the links in order to point to the new location in WordPress. It has been a pain but I am not sure what else I could have done differently to make this not happen.

The WordPress environment has been very stable over the past three months. I am diligent at maintaining the latest version of the software so as new point releases of WordPress have come out I have upgraded. The upside of this is that I haven’t had the security issues that others have reported when using older versions of WordPress.

During this trial period I have accumulated several plug-ins to implement additional functionality into the WordPress environment. Over the next several days I will devote a blog post to each of these plug-ins. Perhaps you are looking for similar functionality within your blog, if so these plug-ins may work for you as well.

So far I have been very happy with the migration and subsequent management of WordPress as a blogging platform. I would not hesitate to recommend this software to anyone looking for a stable software base on which to build a blog.

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